Living Room Design Principles

Create the living room of your dreams with these tips on designing and decorating the perfect space. Learn the principles of decorating success and get ideas for your furniture, layout, lighting, rugs and more.

Balanced Living Room Design

• Use symmetry for a look that's pleasing to the eye. Achieve balance by   placing pairs of objects evenly spaced on either side of a centre point. Or   opt for asymmetry, an edgier approach that contrasts an object or grouping   with an empty space.

• Build your room around a natural focal point or create one with art or   furniture. An architectural element, like a fireplace, is naturally a prominent   feature. Define it further by flanking it with built-in bookcases. Dress up the   mantel by topping it with a stunning piece of art or a collection of items.

• Learn to play with scale. When everything in a space is of expected scale,   relative to human proportions and perception, the result is comfortable but   predictable. Introduce pieces that break from that norm to showcase a   single item or spark conversation.

• Choose window treatments that suit the look and functions you're after.    Layering window coverings lets you customize your privacy and light   entering the room.

• Ensure the room is well-lit. Layer lighting types to include a mix of task,   room and wall lighting.

• Define the seating area with a large rug.

• Repeat colours, materials, furniture or accessories for a cohesive look.   Whether you're decorating a shelf or a whole room, this fail-safe decorating   principle applies.

• Have a small living room? Pay attention to furniture shapes to make the   most of your space.
 
Excerpts from Canadian House and Home, written by Margot Austin